Select Page


Free School Meals

In England, a Free School Meal (FSM) is a statutory benefit available to school aged children from families who receive other qualifying benefits and who have been through the relevant registration process.  Recently, the process of applying for Free School Meals at Roding Valley High School has changed to an online application in order to improve speed and reduce the burden of paperwork for parents. The qualifying criteria has not changed, and the parents will still need to be in receipt of one of the following benefits to be considered eligible:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on – paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian are also eligible for free school meals.

It is important that parents register their children for free school meals if they are entitled as the school receives additional funding known as the Pupil Premium to support the children’s learning.  The use of the pupil premium is personalised to meet the needs of the children who are entitled to support, such as 1-1 tuition, additional LSA support and intervention groups, access to school visits, Learning Mentor, speech and language assistants, Family Support and counselling.

If you believe that your child is eligible for Free School Meals, please click here to use our Free School Meals Checker. Your Certificate of Eligibility will then need to be emailed to our Finance Department at